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The Road Not Taken September 10, 2007

Posted by Janjan in All, I, Lawyer, Seriously now….

As I write this entry, I am sharing a lonesome cup of warm Americano at my favorite coffeeshop near Redemptorist Church. It just rained previously, but now the sky is a shade of overcast gray. Outside, the road is moist with the damp of the recent rain, but inside the coffeeshop, I am dry, secure and bouyed by the strains of Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy,” while my nose is teased by the smell of waffles cooking on the skillet.

I am the only lawyer in the sea of Med Reps buzzing about inside the shop, all of them busy drafting reports on their laptop, and making entries on their notebooks, documents and charts, the silence broken by idle chit-chat and discussions. The scent of maple syrup being poured on a nearby plate of waffles is making me hungry.

Looking at these Med Reps, I wonder about the professions I have forgone by choosing to practice as a lawyer. Would I be a different person now had I chosen the road not taken? Maybe I would have been married already and more financially secure. Maybe people would be calling me “Doctor” instead of “Attorney”. Maybe my WordPress blog would be titled “The Unholy Fr. Perez” instead of “The Magnificent Atty. Perez”

These are the professions I have forgone by choosing to take up Law:

1) Auditor – I am a duly licensed CPA with no appreciable experience in auditing. A year after I became a CPA, I immediately took up Law. Realizing the pressures and demands of my course, I decided to be contrary to my peers in the field and NOT apply at a prestigious accounting firm such as SGV or Punongbayan & Araullo, knowing that the life of a junior associate in an accounting firm is filled with deadlines, sleepless nights, and endless field work. Had I worked for an accounting firm and stayed, I would have been a manager by now. Or, had I chosen to be pirated, I could have been a financial officer in a company or maybe even its Comptroller.

2) Banker – I was already working with the Equitable PCI Banking Corp. prior to taking up Law, and again, I quit my job right before I enrolled for my law studies. Had I stayed, I would sure to be an officer of the Bank, given my CPA License. I actually do miss working for a Bank sometimes because the job was so easy and routinary. And to think that I used to hate that job because I found it so boring. But now that I am in the highly-pressured and oftentimes antagonistic practice of law, I miss that sense of routine, and the fact that after my day is done, I could leave my concerns over the job back at the Bank. I don’t have to think about prescriptive periods or how to deal with antagonistic personalities.

3) Doctor – In my years prior to college, I grew up believing that I would follow in my father’s footsteps and take up Medicine. For certain, everyone was surprised that I didn’t. Sometimes, I wonder where I would be in life had I chosen that course. I would have been classmates with my bestfriend Johndi and joined him in the adventures and misadventures that he and his barkada went through during their college years. Instead of arguing with people, I would be healing them and tending to their illnesses. Instead of claiming damages from companies, I would be saving lives just like my dad. But I think about this knowing the rigors and pressures of the medical field, knowing that I would face even more physical and mental exertion than I am now as a lawyer.

4) Teacher – I used to teach in the College of Commerce while I was studying Law and I actually loved what I did. I enjoy being in a classroom and imparting information and knowledge to eager (and oftentimes not-so-eager) young minds. The best part of my job was to see a student’s face light up as a lightbulb powers up in his head and he understands esoteric concepts of taxation or the double-entry system of bookkeeping. The only thing I hated about the job was checking papers and making grades. But otherwise, it was a very fulfilling career, one that I hope to come back to as a professor of law.

5) Priest – I think it is inevitable in any Catholic schoolboy’s life that at one point or another, he asks himself whether he is being called to become a priest. More so when the said schoolboy was a long time member of the school’s Knights of the Altar and a delegate to the World Youth Day ’95, where he greeted the Pope when he arrived in Manila. I grew up with pious women in the family and a religious father. When I was much younger, we prayed the rosary regularly every 6pm. I also grew up reading about the lives of saints such as St. Francis, St. Benedict, and St. John Bosco. At one point of my life, I considered serving the poor in missions to Africa and teaching children about the Gospel. Sometimes, I ask myself if I was being called but I just didn’t have the guts to say “Yes” to God. Back then it was because I was telling myself that the life of the pious is not what I want for myself.

Well… those are my roads not taken. I guess everybody has those, at one point in their lives. We just cannot be everything that we want to be.

Sometimes, we have to choose and pray that we chose well.

There are ups and downs to being a lawyer, but I guess, if I had chosen the other road, I would be lying back and wondering what would have happened had I chosen to become a lawyer. I would be wondering about what it’s like to stare down opposing counsels in court, or to meet with various important people to aid and give them legal counsel in making important decisions for their companies and their community. I would be certainly be less assertive than I am now, and would lose out on meeting some of the greatest people that I only met during law school and in the course of my practice.

What was the road YOU did not take?


1. The Unlawyer » On Tenterhooks - September 11, 2007

[…] senior law students” for a project. The Magnificent Atty. Perez, on the other hand, muses on The Road Not Taken, and haven’t we all? Smorgasbord of Random Thoughts roundly excoriates the Makati Business […]

2. marvin - September 11, 2007

rock star (bwahahahahahahahahaha)

Good morning Atty Perez!

3. northwolf - September 11, 2007

Hahahaha. It’s not yet too late, panyero 🙂 We can form a band, you’ll be the lead singer and I’ll be the lead guitar. It’ll be a super tandem… the Magnificent Atty. Perez and the Fabulous Atty. Aceron.

We’ll be the greatest rockstar lawyers that ever existed and we shall be known as….

The Ambulance Chasers.


4. tinuod nga botbot - September 12, 2007

i’d like to think how lawyers bang their heads on stage screaming from the top of their lungs while their clients keep bangin their butts to save them……yet, these rock ‘n roll all star lawyers don’t seem to care at all……

wat d’yo call this, career advancement? hahahahahaha

is playing guitar in the bathroom considered as multi-tasking?
i’d b ur first obsessed fan…….

5. marvin aceron - September 16, 2007

sige bah, if you’re in town, bring your guitar, i have my walis tambo and magic sing. practice tayo.

Pag napadpad ako ng Cebu, dala rin akong gamit.

Atty. Punzi has finally learned to play his saxophone. We can revive the Executive Band, under a new name, “Ambulance Chasers”

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